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Santa Maria Sun / News

The following article was posted on November 1st, 2012, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 13, Issue 34 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [] - Volume 13, Issue 34

Surf Beach reopens after fatal shark attack


After being closed as a precaution, Surf Beach near Vandenberg Air Force Base reopened on Oct. 26, three days after a great white shark attack claimed the life of a 39-year-old Orcutt man.

According to the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department, Francisco Javier Solorio, Jr., was surfing with several friends at Surf Beach around 11 a.m. the morning of Oct. 23 when a 15- to 16-foot great white shark bit him on the left side of his upper body, causing a massive fatal injury and leaving a large bite mark on the surfboard. A friend who witnessed the attack swam over to help Solorio, and pulled him out of the ocean and onto the beach. He administered first aid while another surfer called 911, authorities said.

Vandenberg Air Force Base fire personnel arrived on the scene and attempted lifesaving procedures, but paramedics pronounced Solorio dead at the scene, Sheriff’s Department spokesman Sgt. Mark Williams said in a press release.

After examining the surfer’s body and the tooth prints, Ralph Collier from the Shark Research Committee in Chatsworth, Calif., positively identified the shark as a great white, and determined its size.

The attack occurred near the same spot where 19-year-old Lucas Ransom, an engineering student at UC Santa Barbara, was killed by a great white in 2010. The beach was closed for 72 hours.